Audio 7.1: Doré LaForett

Doré LaForett, an Investigator at FPG Child Development Institute, talks about how RTI is used with dual language learners in early childhood settings (running time: 1 min., 59 sec.).


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So there are several adaptations that could be made within a tiered approach to work with dual language learners. One of these is with regard to assessment. And the adaptation here is something called formative assessment, and what formative assessment involves is conducting assessments using both English and also the home language. So what that would involve is doing one set of assessments using English and the other set of assessments doing the home language. The reason why this would be important for dual language learners is because it would allow for a fuller picture of what dual language learners, or DLLs, know. So when we see what they know in English, we get a sense of what they know in the English skills, and when we assess them in their home language we get a sense of what we know from their home language skills, and when we put that information together it gives us a much broader picture of the kind of things that they know as opposed to if we just did the assessment in English only.

Another adaptation within tiered approaches involves the intervention piece, or the instructional piece. So one adaptation in this area involves what can be called as bridging. Which basically means using both English and the home language strategically during instruction. And there are several ways that teachers can do this. One is they can use both English and the home language to teach explicit concepts, such as vocabulary and letter names and sounds and things like that. The other way they can use it is in responding to children’s responses or contributions in the classroom such as when the child answers a question in the home language the teacher can respond to the child in the home language and then also encourage the child to give a response in English.